Thursday, June 21, 2012

16th Century Chatelaines Exhist

After being inspired by my online hand embroidery group on Facebook, I noticed a lovely piece posted yesterday that I needed to make post here. A Chatelaine, what is this you may ask? A Chatelaine is a French Term for "Keeper of the Keys". It refers to the Mistress of the household who has all the daily items at the ready to do her duties. In the early 1840's these came back into use, and contained various filigree chains joined to one pin with a clip on the back and dangled from the waist of a skirt. Eventually a necklace and brooch version was made when fashions changed. A Chatelaine displayed the fine sewing implements and other useful tools of a proper household Mistress. Items included but not limited to: an awl, scissors, thimble, perfume bottle, watch, compass, pin cushion, needle case, bodkin, small coin purse, and of course keys. These decorative but functional items could be made from precious gold, most popularly silver in the Victorian age, brass, copper, silk ribbon or needlework. All depending on your station in life depended on how fancy of one you received, these were normally given as a gift to a young lady. This was a common gift from a groom to his bride on their wedding day, now that she was to take her proper place as head of the household domestics, she would need one of these to help with tasks.

I found a 16th century reference to this online but am looking for more concrete evidence of this in a book, though I have gone through my library and have not found a reference to a tool such as this.  The following is what I found:

"An early form of bag or wallet was the drawstring leather pouch which carried coins, and which was looped through men's girdles or belts for safety. It was a simple development of a circle of fabric drawn up together with two lines of stitching going round the edge in parallel lines in different directions and knotted to make the drawstrings. This was seen from the 12th to the 16th centuries, often worn with a dagger or knife. Such pouches could in fact be stolen by determined thieves who would cut them loose. This suspension of a functional object from the belt has parallels with the medieval 'chatelaine', a chain with keys attached about the waist, which was necessary for housekeepers even when simply moving from wing to wing within the larger houses of England. The chatelaine was revived in the 1840s as a device for suspending needlework and domestic tools, such as a pair of scissors, a tape measure, a thimble case, button hook, penknife, and needle-case from a device hooked onto the waist-belt." From Brief History of Bags and Purses from Hantsweb.  
 Link: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/dress-and-textiles/bags-collection.htm

I am thinking this would be a good topic for my local embroidery guild, but want to find better references before attempting it.  For now I have my lovely silk one with an ornate peacock brooch, so I am contented. Eventually I want to make my own crewel embroidered version of a chatelaine, but not until the research backs it up.

The one you see was made at midnight on an after-work sugar binge, and stayed up till 1:40am completing the final touches this morning. Its best to do things when inspiration strikes you. On that note, I did finish the peacocks on the left hand Elizabethan glove, all I have to do is the floral border, though its easier said then done.

Likes a Good Challenge,

Maureen


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Peacock

Peacock

Tudor Q and A

What is a Tudorosity?

A mashed combination of the words Tudor and Curiosity to create the word Tudorosity. Tudorosities is the plural form and the deffinition is as follows.

Tudorosity- an desire to learn or know anything about the Tudor dynasty assocated with years 1405 through 1603.

Most people ask my why I make the Tudor garb ?

I find the clothing of this era not only beautiful but also challenging to sew. There is much more care and purpose put into making garments and wearing garments in the Tudor Era. I love the look of Tudor so much I wanted to explore the way clothes were made back then and the subtle changes in fashion and styles of time.

How did you get started in this interesting hobby?

I started with art first, I love to draw, paint, and sculpt all the traditional fine arts. So being able to draw helps me visualize the looks I want to create in my garb. History has always been a huge interest of mine and I've had a knack for sewing since I was 6 years old. It all started with doll clothes and I learned cross stitch embroidery from my grandmother when I was little. I am self taught sewer, crochet, knitting, embroidery and tatting. My methods are learned from books mainly and there is still so much more to learn.

What is my favorite outfit and why?

It would be like picking a favorite out of one of my future children, its impossible. I love all my gown creations and really like the distinct differences in all the styles clothing I make for the Tudor Era.

Do you make the whole outfit including hat, shoes, and undergarments?

I do have a goal of making a complete Tudor from the skin out. As of right now I make 80% of my gowns and accessories. The shoes, corset, stockings, and petticoats are bought online and the petticoats are a close reproduction but not made by me. Though someday I plan on making a reed corset and petticoat to wear under my gowns, as well as other accessories.

How long does it take to make a gown?

It all depends on the type of gown I plan on making and the time period and class of the design. Generally if I work on it 8 hours a day on a sewing machine it will take 3 days to get the basics and another 5 days to do finish hand-sewing details and beading. So a week to a week and a half if working on it steady for that amount of time. I work a full-time job so it does take longer than a week to complete. I put over 40-100 hours per outfit depending on its complexity, its like its own full time job of sorts.

Do you make renaissance clothing for sale or custom orders?

No, due to new employment and changes in my lifestyle. Unfortunately, I have no time to support sewing for others. Though I recommend sewing lessons for those adventurous few. There are many fine folks who make and sell historical clothing. I suggest guidance with sew from many fine historical enthusiastic costumers out on the internet.

How long have you been making these elaborate costumes?

I have been in the Society of Creative Anachronism coming up on my 10th year. Active since 2004 working at demonstrations and volunteering when I could between working and other life's distractions. I really concentrated on Tudor sewing in 2007 and worked with patterns to learn proper fabrics, techniques, fit, and silhouette. I really enjoy the eras transition from a medieval form fitting layered cotterdie to the boned Tudor kirtle and then to structured Elizabethan clothing.

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Lady Willoughby

Lady Willoughby

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Peach Elizabethan Noble

Peach Elizabethan Noble

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Mauve Waistcoat Elizabethan Gown

Mauve Waistcoat Elizabethan Gown

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

O'Cadhla Heraldry

O'Cadhla Heraldry

Queen Mary I of England

Queen Mary I of England